How To Safely Use an Electric Motor

How To Safely Use an Electric Motor

Electric motors transform electrical energy into mechanical energy by harnessing magnetic fields to apply torque, or rotational force. Electric motors can be brushed, meaning they use additional parts to generate a current, or brushless, which use permanent electromagnets instead. They can run on direct current or alternate current. Some electric motors are even “unrolled” and apply linear force rather than rotational force. No matter the differences in specifications, operating an electric motor—or any electric equipment—requires the utmost safety. While most people can operate their electric motors for everyday use without incident, most safety issues arise during attempts to repair them. In this guide to how to safely use an electric motor, we will go over some of the dos and don’ts of motor operation and maintenance for all the different variations of electric motors.

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The Different Types of Centrifugal Pumps

The Different Types of Centrifugal Pumps

In myriad industrial settings, fluids have to do more than lie idle in a reservoir. We put fluids to work throughout systems, and in order to get them moving, we rely on pumps to get the ball—or more accurately the water, or the solvent, or the slurry—rolling. When dealing with low-viscosity fluids that offer little resistance, a centrifugal pump is often the best variant for sending them through process piping and other systems. Unlike other models, centrifugal pumps use rotational energy to circulate their fluids. Within this broad category are several different types of centrifugal pumps, a few of which we’ll examine here.

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Common Causes of Elevator Breakdowns

Common Causes of Elevator Breakdowns

The elevator—city living would be nearly impossible without it. We take elevators for granted as a modern convenience, but an elevator failure can be downright paralytic to a midrise or highrise building where not everyone can rely on using long flights of stairs. If you’re managing a property with elevators, you likely have a keen interest in making sure your elevators remain fully operational at all times. If an elevator should go out of service, one of these common causes of elevator breakdowns is likely the reason why.

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The Different Types of Electric Motors

The Different Types of Electric Motors

No matter what you’re working on, you need a motor to get things moving. Electric motors take the raw power of an electrical current and convert that electrical energy into mechanical energy. Electricity, magnetism, and force come together to power electric motors across a wide swath of applications. Tools, appliances, robotics, and CNC technology all rely on different types of electric motors in order to operate. Electric motors come in several varieties with differences in electric current, performance level, construction, and efficiency, all of which make different motors better suited to different jobs. We’ll take a look at some of them here.

AC/DC

Electricity travels in one of two currents: alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC). In a direct current, the current flows in only one direction at a constant rate, while an alternating current reverses back and forth in what you would graph as a sine wave. The most common source of alternating current is from plugging a plug into a wall socket, whereas DC power is better associated with batteries.

Motors that run on DC make efficient use of their energy and can manage high levels of rotational force, or torque. When you need high torque that stays high, a direct-current motor is the way to go. Elevators, cranes, and conveyor belts are just three of the situations where DC motors come into play.

Stepper Motors

One of the most common and versatile varieties of DC motor is the stepper motor, named for its incremental revolutions. Stepper motors have a permanent magnet in one of two places: the rotor or the stator. The location of the electromagnet determines the peak performance of the stepper—magnetized stators offer higher speeds than magnetized rotors. In some cases, a stepper uses a hybrid model where two rotors with opposite polarity turn within a magnetized stator. 3-D printers and CNC mills for hobbyists make use of stepper motors, which are affordable and less likely to break down than other more complex DC motors. The downside to stepper motors is that when they lose magnetization or wear down, they’ll usually require outright replacement.

Servo Motors

The servo motor is a more advanced form of DC motor. Like the stepper motor, the servo motor operates in a series of discrete increments, or steps, but a servo motor is able to attain a considerably higher RPM than a simple stepper. Servo motors attach to a transmission, or gearbox, which allows them to increase their torque while increasing their speed far beyond what a stepper motor could handle, along with a controller that sends more intricate signals to the motor. 3-D printers, CNC mills, and other commercial and industrial applications will use servo motors rather than stepper motors, where higher speed and precision are necessary. However, with higher speeds, gearboxes, and controllers all involved in the operation of a servo motor, they are more prone to breakdown than stepper motors from the addition of so many more moving parts.

Brushed vs. Brushless Motors

AC and DC motors alike can vary in whether they incorporate brushing. A brush, in this context, is an additional component that conducts electrical current between the rotor and stator of the motor. These brushes are typically made of carbon and a motor will generally include several brushes. The brushes’ points of contact touch a slip ring, which transfers power from the stationary object to the rotating object. While brushes are effective in conducting current, the friction of constant rotation can wear down the brushes. With this in mind comes the brushless motor, which substitutes a permanent electromagnet for the carbon brush and vastly reduces damage from friction. Brushless DC motors, which are very close to stepper motors, are smaller than their brushed counterparts, as well as longer lasting. Brushless AC motors use permanent electromagnets to generate magnetic fields in their stators, which turn both the stator and rotor. The advent of the AC brushless motor was an important development in the field of motion control, where their powerful current and high durability make them an attractive choice.

Linear Motors

Not all motors are concerned with rotation. By “unrolling” the stator and rotor, a linear motor substitutes torque, or rotational force, for linear force. To move something along only one axis, a linear motor can be highly effective. Like stepper motors, linear motors experience little wear as they work, but unlike the rotary-based stepper motor, linear motors can achieve high speeds and high accuracy while avoiding this wear. Looms use linear motors to slide the shuttle along, and you’ll even find linear motors powering the sliding doors in commercial buildings. The railgun, a cannon which substitutes an explosive propellant for electromagnetic energy, is effectively a weaponized instance of a linear motor.

Direct Drive

Cutting out the middleman is always advantageous. One drawback of servo motors is that they require transmissions, or gearboxes, to improve torque. A direct drive motor streamlines the process by connecting the load directly to the motor. Like servo motors, direct drive motors are most often brushless and rely on permanent electromagnets. Direct drive motors, however, still require dedicated and precise control mechanisms. You can find direct drive motors running at high and low speeds alike in a number of industrial and consumer applications, from record players to CNC machinery.

Get Your Motor Running With Moley

Across the different types of electric motors, you should be able to find the type and model that’s right for you. Moley Magnetics offers AC and DC motors from such esteemed brands as Hyundai, Worldwide, Baldor, and Leeson. Furthermore, they also service and repair those motors, protecting and protracting your valuable investments. When a factory-standard motor model isn’t quite what you need for your job, Moley Magnetics offers custom electric motors that are purpose-built just for you and your specific application. If ever those custom motors should need a second look, Moley provides on-site electric motor repair services as well, providing the service after the sale that distinguishes the best motor providers. Shop our selection of motors or inquire about customization and get the gears turning on your next project.

The Different Types of Electric Motors
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The Equipment Needed for Railway Construction

The Equipment Needed for Railway Construction

Don’t let the freeways fool you, and don’t read too much into the inadequate state of passenger rail in America. The American network of freight rail is still an integral segment of our national infrastructure, allowing goods to travel cross-country with higher efficiency than by highway and lower fuel consumption than by air. As our nation rebuilds itself, part of those efforts will involve expanding our railroads while rehabilitating extant but crumbling tracks. If your firm can play a role in making sure quality railroads and railways keep crisscrossing the nation, here’s a look at some of the equipment needed for railway construction.

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The Different Types of Demolition Equipment

The Different Types of Demolition Equipment

High-profile demolitions often make the local news. When a beloved old sports venue goes down for the count, we often get to see the footage of the controlled implosion bringing down the house one final time. When quarters are too tight for even a well-controlled implosion, an old building makes a date with the wrecking ball, which can also be quite a spectacle.

But the true demolition cognoscenti among us know that there is more to it than just brute force. Taking down a building is a comprehensive process that involves many steps before anyone can push the red button and send the rest of a stripped structure to the ground. That’s not to mention the fate of that pile of rubble—it can’t just sit there. In this guide, we’ll explore the different types of demolition equipment that demolition specialists use, many of which you can find right here through Moley Magnetics.

Excavator Shears

You can’t immediately feed all big metal pieces to the ground-bound alligator shears. Not all scrap is suited for manual loading. This means applying a very useful extension to your excavator. When you need to meet the metal where it is, your excavator shears will pick up scrap metal and take a bite. Excavator shears greatly expedite your demolition process by both lifting and cutting scrap such as piping, cables, and girders. Excavator shears from Moley Magnetics feature four-turn reversible blades to ensure long-lasting cutting power, dual guide blades to cut down—no pun intended—on pesky intake jams, and added pressure from an offset jaw apex. It is an accessory no excavator or demolition site can do without.

Excavator Magnets

Just as shears attach to your excavator, you can attach an electromagnet to the excavator to do some seriously heavy lifting. Not only can your excavator magnet pick up heavy pieces of scrap, but they can also even locate and remove small pieces that you would not expect them to catch, like loose nails, screws, cuttings, or other metallic remains. By capturing metal big and small, demolition experts can be sure to remove all possible metal from the site, leaving behind no dangerous scrap and harvesting as much material for recycling as possible.

Hydraulic Magnets

As effective as traditional excavator magnets are, they do have to overcome some limiting factors—namely, that they require an electrical connection that is not always available. Hydraulic magnets supplement excavator-based electromagnets as a “one-stop-shop” by using hydraulic power and a generator instead. If you are in a tight spot and far from the juice, a hydraulic magnet is indispensable for your demolition needs. One key advantage of a fully-enclosed hydraulic magnet is how easy they are to switch in and out. With only a few hookups to make, a hydraulic bench is always ready to come off the bench and jump into demolition action.

Concrete Pulverizers

Concrete is one of our strongest and most versatile building materials; it sure doesn’t go down without a fight. Concrete slabs are heavy, unwieldy, and take up a great deal of space once they have been displaced, and that’s precisely where your concrete pulverizer comes in. The word “pulverizer” is a slight misnomer—it won’t exactly reduce your concrete to a fine powder; however, what it will do is reduce it to rubble, making transportation away from the premises markedly easier. Pulverizers from Moley Magnetics distinguish themselves from the competition through their superior design that keeps these hard workers working hard longer. Moley pulverizers come equipped with blades for slicing steel reinforcement bars, or rebar, while they crush, and use innovative cylinder placement to prevent that rebar from doing damage to the unit. Once you’ve crushed your concrete, you use magnets to draw out the rebar, which can be melted down and recycled into new steel. While the rest of your concrete isn’t made of metal, enterprising businesses can find ways to recycle that, too. Pulverized concrete winds up beneath newly constructed roads, where it acts as a solid base. It can even wind up as the aggregate in new concrete.

Wire Granulators

As you demolish a building and tear out any remaining wires, it’s advantageous to strip their insulation and prepare them for baling as soon as possible. Wire granulators use powerful electromagnetic currents to separate even metals that aren’t naturally magnetic from their inert plastic coatings. This allows recyclers to recoup copper, one of the most valuable metals in the recycling business, without having to go through the tedious process of manually stripping yards upon yards of wire. Wire granulators also work well on metal coils, which can be granulated and better prepared for baling.

Demolition Grapples

To laypeople, it’s known as the “iron claw.” To those of us in the industry, it’s known as the demolition grapple, an implement no work site could tear down without. Demolition grapples typically come in two “flavors”: mechanical and hydraulic. Mechanical grapples grab with the most power, while hydraulic grapples offer a full 360 degrees of mobility and work with higher precision. Grapples have varying sets of tines with which they latch onto their “prey.” Perhaps counterintuitively, the fewer tines a grapple has, the more power it grips with. A “five-over-six” tine configuration finds its use not in picking up the big stuff, but in capturing smaller chunks that would drop out of a grapple with larger tines. Demolition grapples come in different sizes as well as tine configurations, and bigger is not necessarily better—you will sacrifice some power as you scale up. With the hard work that grapples do, it’s truly imperative that they’re up to the task. Moley grapples are built with wear-proof steel to last longer than their competitors and go an extra step toward maximum durability by using chromium-plated rods.

Demolish With Moley Magnetics

These are just a few of the different types of demolition equipment that you’ll need as you get to work. Without these on your work site, you’ll have a tough time taking a building down. Whether you’re harnessing electromagnetism or crushing concrete, you can find them right here at Moley Magnetics.

The Different Types of Demolition Equipment
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Understanding How Auto Salvage Works

Understanding How Auto Salvage Works

Recyclers who are looking to keep metals in circulation will take almost anything. Recyclable metals can be as thin and light as aluminum or as thick and dense as lead. One small piece of metal can be of value, and so can an entire discarded automobile. When a car or light truck has given so much of itself that it’s not even fit to be a high schooler’s first set of wheels anymore, that auto is destined for the salvage yard. Even if that car in its current form won’t be back on the road, its components and materials can find new life in new applications—even as parts of new cars. By understanding how auto salvage works, you can open new revenue streams for your scrap yard by offering a “final resting place” for your market’s exhausted cars that, thanks to the recyclability of their parts, won’t be quite so final after all.

Acquisition

The process begins with getting the car in the yard. Some drivers may be able to drive their car to the yard, but an automobile bound for the salvage yard rather than the used car lot often isn’t in any condition for its owner to drive it there. This necessitates towing on the part of the recycler. Scheduling a pickup is also the ideal time to start establishing the value of the car you’ll be picking up. You may need to take the owner’s word in giving an initial quote, which may turn out to be slightly off base upon first-person inspection.

Preparation

Scrappers hope to “use the whole buffalo” when it comes to recycling an automobile. This means stripping all possible assets from a unit before sending any remaining steel away. Of course, not everything is fit to be reused. Specifically, the various fluids that course through a car need to be drained before continuing with the salvage process. This includes engine coolant, motor oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid, as well as any remaining gasoline. While a few of these fluids can themselves be recycled in certain instances, recyclers must still fully remove these chemicals from the parts in which they circulate.

Non-Ferrous Metals

Though steel scrap’s resale value is notoriously low, there are often more lucrative metals in the construction of a car or truck. Be on the lookout for copper, aluminum, and zinc in parts beneath the main body of the car. Finding these non-ferrous metals in generous quantities is often what makes auto salvage worth it for a business.

Automotive Glass

When recycling a car, you’re not only after the steel that makes up the majority of its composition and the other non-ferrous metals in parts. Even auto glass, with additional processing, is recyclable. Modern windshields feature a thin layer of polyvinyl butyral, or PVB, which protects drivers and passengers from windshields shattering into large and deadly shards. Rather, this treated windshield glass crumbles upon high impact, keeping any one piece of the glass from being particularly dangerous. However, in order to return this glass into circulation, a specialist must remove the PVB membrane between the two layers of windshield glass before pulverizing and melting the remaining glass for reuse. You probably won’t find recycled windshield glass in your kitchen cabinet, but you may find it in terrazzo flooring, reflective paints, and fiberglass insulation. Even if your own facility doesn’t have the capability to recycle glass on the premises, you can do business with those who do specialize in breaking down treated glass.

Tires

Though they’re not made of metal, auto salvagers will set tires aside for recycling as well. Tires can be retread and resold or melted down into new tires. Many high school running tracks today do not have asphalt surfaces that maximize joint impact, but rather a composite of granulated and reconstituted tire rubber, whose shock-absorbing properties protect the knees of runners far better than hard pavement does. As artificial grass surfaces make their way to the high school and community ranks, granulated rubber serves as the infill for synthetic grass, taking the place of natural dirt.

Auto Textiles

Also not metallic but of great value in auto salvage is a car’s upholstery. More and more, auto upholstery is becoming a commonly recycled component of a car, with textiles in new models incorporating polyesters that use everything from recycled upholstery itself to post-consumer waste such as recycled plastic bottles. This is one of the more effective ways in which auto manufacturers reduce their carbon footprints and save energy. Outside of the auto industry, the fabrics in car seats find alternative uses in upcycling, where they can be reused in other products such as wallets. Whatever the fate of this upholstery turns out to be, it’s imperative that salvagers remove it all from an automobile in the scrapping process, so as not to let this valuable material go to waste.

Compression and Shredding

Readers and recyclers of a certain age may remember the animated film The Brave Little Toaster, where “condemned” cars are sent to a crusher in a particularly traumatic scene. Fortunately, the cars that salvagers work with generally lack the emotional valence of their animated anthropomorphic counterparts. Just as scrappers bale loose scrap metal into easy-to-ship cubes, so too must they compress what remains of cars after harvesting all other usable parts. A crane magnet generally does the heavy lifting in this sequence. Once all other usable components are absent, the remaining steel that makes up a car is crushed and sent off for shredding. Once shredded into manageable chunks, roughly the size of an adult fist, the steel is smelted and reused—most likely in a new car.

In Summary

Our automobile industry, in Detroit and around the world, would not be sustainable without vigorous efforts to reclaim every possible part of a car or truck. You can increase revenue and global sustainability alike by understanding how auto salvage works and how your recycling facility can play a part in the life cycle of the materials that go into our vehicles. Electromagnets and other products from Moley Magnetics can help you and your staff do the work of putting materials back on the road or out in the world in new forms.

How Auto Salvage Works
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The Applications of Hydraulic Magnets

The Applications of Hydraulic Magnets

Traditional electromagnets are usually enough to do the heavy lifting at a scrap yard, construction site, or demolition site. In special cases, however, you may find that you need special equipment. A fully enclosed hydraulic magnet is a variation on the electromagnet that uses hydraulic flow to power itself without the use of an outside power source. By familiarizing yourself with the applications of hydraulic magnets, you can decide whether these devices are something you need in your arsenal.

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Top Reasons To Recycle Aluminum

Top Reasons To Recycle Aluminum

Your scrapyard deals with all sorts of metals. The ferrous mainstays, iron and steel, eventually prove their worth in sheer volume alone. But it’s the non-ferrous metals that you and your magnets are really looking for. Brass, zinc, copper, lead, and tin all offer value to recyclers. To that list, add aluminum, the lightweight but deceptively strong metal that goes into everything from soda cans to airplanes.

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How To Choose a Spindle Motor for Your Application

How To Choose a Spindle Motor for Your Application

Human error has been the sworn nemesis of progress in the field of precision tasks. As attention to detail has evolved to a non-negotiable demand for detail, the minute variations and vacillations in human-operated machinery have become unacceptable. For this level of manufacturing, human-aided automation has been a boon to achieving the necessary precision. Computer numerical control, or CNC, is an automation process that uses a coded program to perform high-precision tasks involving tools such as drills, lathes, grinders, and even torches or jets. Most modern embroidery is done not by hand but by CNC, and the 3-D printers that are changing today’s world rely on the latest in CNC technology.

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